Jeo Baby’s critically acclaimed film Kaathal- The Core, starring actors Mammootty and Jyothika, is available for streaming on Amazon Prime Video. The film received widespread acclaim for its sensitive portrayal of a married couple – Mathew Devassy (Mammootty) and Omana (Jyotika) – who seek to end their 20 years of marriage.
The story takes place in the background of Kerala’s local body elections, for which Mathew is contesting as a candidate for a Left party. This is when his wife Omana files a petition for divorce, leading to speculations about his sexuality. The fact that Mammootty, a superstar, took on the role of a closeted gay man without hesitation was widely hailed after the release of the film. Besides acting in it, Mammootty has also produced the film under the banner of his production house Mammootty Kampany.
Alongside Mammootty, Jyothika’s performance in the film had also received acclaim. In her review for TNM, Sukanya Shaji wrote, “...the heart of Kaathal, undoubtedly, is the journey of Mathew and Omana, and the heartbreaking dignity with which they help each other out of their predicaments.”
In a recent interview, Jyothika, appreciating Mammootty’s courage to do Kaathal, disclosed: “On the first day, I went to him and asked how he chose to play this role. He responded by asking, ‘What is a hero? A hero is not someone who hits somebody or does action and romance. A hero is someone who tries different roles and gets into the act of different characters. That’s a real hero.’ I really wanted to applaud him because he had a lot to lose if it didn’t go right. And I think he just went all out.”
Jeo Baby had previously directed another sensational film The Great Indian Kitchen, which spoke about the oppression of a married woman who eventually walks out of the marriage. The film was later made into Tamil as well with Aishwarya Rajesh in the lead.
Kaathal released in theatres on November 23.